At a Special Called Business Meeting held on September 11, 2022, those in attendance voted to participate in a revitalization process with Resound Network, as the Blue River/Kansas City Baptist Association recommended.
Dr. Roger "Buddy" Funk was approved as Interim Pastor through February 2023.
September 28, 2022, the church approved the following to serve as members of the Spring Valley Baptist Church Revitalization Committee: Gregg Boll (facilitator), Buddy Funk (Interim Pastor), Mallory Dyer (Ministry Assistant), Jim Ewan, John Still, Martin Studdard, James Watts, Sharon Baker, Ruth Rogers, Debbie Atwood, and Mikala Harris.
After gathering and reviewing the data received from various surveys*, demographics, historical documents, a building audit, church mapping, and personal insight, the Revitalization Committee has received the following recommendation from the Resound Network:
That Spring Valley Baptist Church merges with a compatible partner church to minister within the community and advance the Kingdom. A merger would allow Spring Valley and the merging church to support and offer a vibrant ministry to their community and members with the potential to thrive, grow, and reach lost and unchurched people.
* surveys and supplemental information
Congregational Survey Results (Graphic)
Congregational Survey Analysis
Possible Solutions for Struggling Churches
Resound Revitalization Findings
In view of a call as our next Interim Pastor, Pastor Mark Clifton, preached on February 26, 2023.
At the Business Meeting scheduled on February 22, 2023, we voted to approve two Town Hall meetings and a Special Called Business Meeting to vote on the Resound Network recommendation.
February 22, 2023, Business Meeting adjourned until March 1, 2023, at 6:30 pm. During this meeting, the church affirmed the recommendation to call Pastor Clifton as our next Interim Pastor.
March 26, 2023, during a Special Called Business Meeting, the members present voted unanimously to affirm the Resound Network recommendation to explore a merger with a compatible church partner.
Town Hall Meeting #1
March 5, 2023
Town Hall Meeting #2
March 12, 2023
Special Called Business Meeting*
March 26, 2023
*The purpose of this meeting will be to vote by secret ballot on the Resound Network recommendation as presented. A two-thirds majority will be required for the recommendation to pass.
Questions & Answers
This section will document the questions raised and answers given during Town Hall meetings. (Note: answers to questions and comments are paraphrased.)
Q: Where does this recommendation come from? Is it from the Resound Network or the members of the Revitalization Committee selected by SVBC?
This recommendation is from the Resound Network and is based on data gathered by the Revitalization Committee. This data came from two congregational surveys, a community survey, a review of foundational church documents, a building audit, community demographic research, and anecdotal discussions related to church history.
Q: Would a merger between our church and another church mean we would be required to move to another location?
No. Spring Valley Baptist Church has a nice facility and offers room for growth. The ideal church partnership would be with another church already reaching our community but needing a facility in which it can grow. Ideally, the ministries and classes that are in place would continue.
Q: How do we go about finding a church to partner with?
According to Gregg Boll, if the recommendation is affirmed on March 26, there are already a few churches that would potentially be a good match with Spring Valley. However, an opportunity may spring forth that has not been considered. Pastor Boll shared his previous experiences with the revitalization process between Fellowship Greenwood and First Baptist Raymore and how God stepped in at the right moment and provided the needed partner for the Raymore church.
Q: What does the merger process look like?
When a potential church is identified, there would be an introduction and initial meeting with the committee members selected by SVBC. This may be followed by joint congregational worship and an opportunity to hear that church's Pastor preach. The committee would work out the details of the merger. The proposed church partner would need to agree to the merger. SVBC membership has a final say, and there would be additional Town Hall meetings and a vote to affirm a merger. There would be another vote by secret ballot. The If the church is not a good fit, we will continue to search.
Q: Would both facilities remain open if the compatible church already has a campus?
Using the example of Fellowship Greenwood, Pastor Boll said that Pastor Williams splits his time between the two campuses. He again reiterated that we have a very nice campus, and the goal would be to use it. That might mean we would have a campus Pastor if we partnered with a church that wished to expand to our community.
Q: Would a merger mean we would be required to accept their Pastor?
The short answer is yes. We would accept their Pastor, governance, and existing leadership structure. However, we can also ask that some of our Deacons and ministry leaders be enfolded in the structure of the new church.
Q: What is the name of the church being used as an example of a successful revitalization?
Q: How will we expect another group to come in and support our mission? Will we be their primary source of financial support?
The expectation is that this would be a growing body of believers already working in and reaching our community and that they are tithing and financially supporting their ministry efforts.
Q: Are we talking about another 40-person church joining us or having a larger church take over?
The goal is to find a newer church that is reaching the community. The goal is not maintenance. The goal is growth.
Q: How will these two communities come together?
This question assumes that we would become a satellite church which may not be the case. If it was a larger church, they might send over a group of people from their main campus to provide Pastoral care and leadership.
Q: Wouldn't bringing in a church with younger members be better?
Yes. Our survey results showed that we are lacking in this area. Families with children and young adults in our congregation will help us grow.
Q: It appears that not everyone filled out the congregational surveys. Is it because they don't care?
We received a higher-than-usual data sample from the completed surveys, and we appreciate everyone who took the time to fill them out.
Q: Was there a survey of the community?
Yes. You will find the results of that survey here.
Q: When will we learn who the potential church partners are?
That information will be shared, and a search will begin in earnest if we vote to affirm the recommendation to pursue a merger on March 26.
Q: Explain the terms "adoption," "foster," and "marriage/merger" as it pertains to the revitalization process. Also, is a merger temporary or permanent?
A "marriage/merger" relationship between two churches is usually permanent. However, in the case of Lenexa Baptist Church and Fellowship Greenwood, that relationship was more like a foster situation because after about 5 years, when Fellowship Greenwood became healthy, Lenexa Baptist Church allowed them to be autonomous again. In an adoption, that child is hoped for and very much wanted. The parent church becomes a nurturing body while the other church grows. That nurtured church becomes part of the parent church's family.
Q: Can there be multiple candidates to choose from in terms of a merging partnership?
Yes. However, the committee selected by SVBC would eventually narrow down the candidates to pursue one exclusively.
GENERAL TOWN HALL COMMENTS:
"We don't do things to churches or for churches; we do things with churches." --Gregg Boll
"The concept of a partnership means that we would be able to grow." --Jim Ewan
"You can't steer a parked Christian." --John Still
"God is moving in the life of this church by sending John Mark Clifton." --Pastor Buddy
"With the leadership we have, if we just take God's lead and follow His will, everything will work out all right."--Russ Pepper